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Even though 2016 wasn’t a very inspiring year, we have higher hopes for the next one. As 2017 approaches, we’ve got our minds on how to be happier, healthier, more generous, politically active, and successful by our own definition. That means being grateful for what we already have and motivated to go after the things we don’t (what up, glass ceiling).
In honor of women everywhere who’re chasing their dreams, I asked 13 of ’em who I know and love what they plan to focus on in 2017 to make their world—and everyone else’s—a better place. From personal goals to political challenges, these 13 women are setting the bar high.
“I vow to speak up every time I hear someone make a sexist, racist, xenophobic, or generally intolerant comment. No more passisvism on the issue that matters most: Equality.” –Julia, 29, Norwich, VT
“I have a few work-related resolutions this year: I want to find a new job and get promoted, and while I am in my current job, I want to focus on developing my team and honing my skills as an effective and well-liked leader. I’m also resolving to be more offensive in terms of how my team drives towards goals, rather than waiting to let processes drive us responsively.” –Jamie, 29, New York City
“I want to be nicer to my husband and learn how to stay calm in situations where we don’t agree, instead of jumping to conclusions.” –Laura, 29, New York City
“I’m making a point to donate more money to charities I believe in. Since Trump’s election, I’ve given to Planned Parenthood, the Jimmy Carter Foundation and my student newspaper at the University of Pittsburgh. I already give to Save the Children monthly, Operation Christmas, and to my church. On my list for next year: the ACLU and the IRC or UNICEF for Syria-related issues.” –Maria, 30, Newark, New Jersey
“Two things I want to do more of in life are to call friends and family who live far away, and meditate regularly.” –Katie, 29, New York City
“My resolution is to develop a new professional skill, like learning how to use Google Analytics or becoming a better and more polished public speaker.” –Kalli, 29, Brooklyn
“I’d like to be more assertive and direct with people in my personal and professional life—especially when it comes to saying no. I have a habit of avoiding conflict, so learning to face things head-on even if I’m uncomfortable would be major progress.” –Elena, 28, Washington, D.C.
“I want to actually set aside one night a week to date, work out at least three times a week—not just for looks, but because I feel so much better on every level when I do—and read one bestselling book per quarter.” –Mary, 30, Brooklyn
“I want to volunteer at least once a month. This year, I’ve been slacking hard with my community service—gotta change that in 2017.” –Leah, 32, New York City
“I’ll support trustworthy news organizations like the New York Times, Washington Post, Slate Group, and others to stay up-to-date on current events in my city, country, and world, even when they’re depressing as hell. Looking away from the bad stuff that’s going on is half the reason we landed in this place, so I’m determined to be informed and aware, if only to motivate myself to stay active and involved in making change.” –Anna, 29, Brooklyn
“I want to focus on being interested over being interesting.” –Sarah, 24, New York City
“I want to get better at speaking in general. It’s one thing to have trouble chatting up a group of strangers at a party, but another to stutter through work presentations and blow job interviews with fast-paced, nervous chatter—which sounds cute on ‘Gilmore Girls,’ but is less so IRL. Our political climate has made this a more pressing concern: It took me an embarrassingly long time to call my local representatives and beg them to denounce Steve Bannon’s appointment. Of course, when I finally did, it was so easy. Expect to hear more from me in 2017.” –Emma, 27, New York City
“I want to not only be informed, but also to do something about the things I see and read about. Long, long gone are the days when being informed was enough to be good. I think they maybe never existed, I just wanted them to, badly.” –Lexie, 29, Brooklyn